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(iSeeCars) — Nobody wants to receive a recall notice, but in 2022 there were over 400 automotive recalls issued, impacting more than 25 million vehicles.

The 2021 numbers were even higher: over 1,000 recalls involving over 35 million vehicles. Cars, like any mass-produced item, are subject to variables related to component and build quality, meaning every vehicle has a chance of being recalled for a safety issue at some point.


  • Tesla is the most-recalled brand, with the Y, 3, X, and S occupying 4 of the top 5 slots
  • Mercedes-Benz leads the least-recalled list, followed closely by Toyota and Lexus
  • 33 Models are projected to experience 1 or fewer recalls over their lifespan
  • 25 Models are projected to experience at least 10 recalls over their lifespan
  • The Tesla Model Y is projected to have 62 recalls over its lifespan

But, as iSeeCars’ latest study reveals, the potential for a recall varies – quite dramatically – between models. iSeeCars analyzed vehicle recall campaign data provided by the National Highway Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for models from the last 10 model years to calculate the number of projected recalls over an expected 30-year lifespan. 

The overall average for lifetime projected recalls across all makes and models is 4.0. The least-recalled cars average one projected recall or less; conversely, the most recalled car, Tesla’s Model Y, is projected to have more than 62 recalls. As a brand, Mercedes-Benz has nine models making the list of least recalled cars, while Porsche and Tesla each have four of the most recalled models. But note that Tesla’s entire model line occupies four of the top five most recalled vehicles.

“Recall rates can vary between makes and models,” said iSeeCars’ Executive Analyst Karl Brauer, “but the extreme variation in the number of recalls a car is projected to receive over its lifetime is something we didn’t expect. For consumers who don’t want to deal with a recall, the top models offer a substantially lower risk than even average models, such as the Chevrolet Equinox or Honda Ridgeline, with four predicted lifetime recalls. Avoiding a recall by owning  a highly rated model, like the Hyundai Elantra GT or Mercedes CLA, means less time spent scheduling a dealer visit, taking the vehicle in, and waiting for repairs to be made.”

The 33 Least Recalled Cars

The 33 cars to make the least recalled list are projected to experience 1 or fewer recalls over the course of their lifespan. Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Toyota are the most prominent brands, but a wide spectrum of models from Chevrolet, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Lincoln, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Nissan, also make an appearance, with the top spot going to the Mini Convertible. Buyers seeking a model with a low recall rate have plenty of choices, while brands like Mercedes and Toyota have strong reputations for quality, and this list backs up their brand image.

Models with the Fewest Safety Recalls – iSeeCars Study
RankModelExpected 30-yr Lifetime RecallsCompared to Overall Average
1MINI Convertible0.20.05x
2Lexus NX 300h0.30.08x
3Lincoln MKZ Hybrid0.50.13x
4Mercedes-Benz CLA0.50.13x
5Lexus RX 450h0.50.13x
6Nissan 370Z0.50.13x
7Hyundai Elantra GT0.60.15x
8Mercedes-Benz GLA0.60.15x
9Mercedes-Benz GLC0.70.18x
10Lexus IS 3000.70.18x
11Mercedes-Benz GLE0.70.18x
12Ford Fusion Energi0.70.18x
13Mercedes-Benz AMG GT0.70.18x
14Mazda CX-30.70.18x
15Lexus ES 300h0.80.20x
16Kia Rio 5-Door0.80.20x
17Lexus RC 3500.80.20x
18Mercedes-Benz GLB0.90.23x
19Infiniti QX500.90.23x
20Chevrolet TrailBlazer0.90.23x
21Mercedes-Benz S-Class0.90.23x
22Ford Fusion Hybrid0.90.23x
23Mercedes-Benz GLS0.90.23x
24Nissan Titan XD0.90.23x
25Lexus IS 3501.00.25x
26MINI Clubman1.00.25x
27Mitsubishi Mirage G41.00.25x
28Toyota Prius Prime1.00.25x
29Toyota Corolla Hatchback1.00.25x
30Mercedes-Benz A-Class1.00.25x
31Toyota Camry Hybrid1.00.25x
32FIAT 500X1.00.25x
33Infiniti Q601.00.25x
Overall Average4.0

The 25 Most Recalled Cars

The 25 most recalled cars are projected to have at least 10 recalls over a 30-year lifespan, with Tesla and Porsche models appearing on the list four times each. Thankfully, Tesla’s ability to enact over-the-air (OTA) updates suggests at least some portion of its recalls won’t involve service center visits. BMW and Jeep make the list three times, while Ford, Lincoln, Ram, and Volkswagen show up twice. Chevrolet and Kia each have one model on the list.

Models with the Most Safety Recalls – iSeeCars Study
RankModelExpected 30-yr Lifetime RecallsCompared to Overall Average
1Tesla Model Y62.415.60x
2Porsche Panamera61.815.45x
3Tesla Model 356.814.2x
4Tesla Model X27.36.83x
5Tesla Model S26.46.60x
6Lincoln Aviator23.05.75x
7Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport22.45.60x
8Volkswagen Atlas20.85.20x
9Ram 150020.55.13x
10Ram 1500 Classic20.55.13x
11Ford F-15016.94.23x
12Porsche Macan16.14.03x
13Porsche Cayenne15.63.90x
14Kia Telluride14.43.60x
15Porsche 91113.03.25x
16Lincoln Corsair12.73.18x
17BMW X712.43.10x
18Ford Explorer11.82.95x
19BMW 3 Series11.72.93x
20BMW 5 Series10.72.68x
21Jeep Grand Cherokee10.42.60x
22Jeep Grand Cherokee L10.42.60x
23Chevrolet Silverado 150010.22.55x
24Subaru Ascent10.12.53x
25Jeep Wrangler10.02.50x
Overall Average4.0

What About Over-the-Air Updates and Safety Recalls?

Are OTA (over-the-air) recalls really recalls if they don’t require a dealership or service center visit? How serious could an OTA issue really be?

Even though safety recalls that have OTA fixes are more convenient to repair, it should be noted that all safety recalls are issued for the same reason: The NHTSA’s analysis of the vehicle issue identified a safety-related defect that violates its vehicle safety standards and needs to be addressed.

The following data shows the top 25 rankings for projected lifetime safety recalls, excluding recalls repaired with OTA updates, to give owners and shoppers a sense of which models require the most dealership visits to address recalls:

Models with the Most Safety Recalls, Excluding Over-the-Air (OTA) Repairs – iSeeCars Study
RankModelExpected 30-yr Lifetime Recalls, Excluding OTA RecallsCompared to Overall Average
1Porsche Panamera61.616.21x
2Lincoln Aviator23.56.18x
3Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport22.75.97x
4Volkswagen Atlas20.95.5x
5Ram 1500 Classic20.95.5x
6Ram 150020.85.47x
7Tesla Model Y19.35.08x
8Ford F-15016.84.42x
9Porsche Macan16.54.34x
10Porsche Cayenne16.54.34x
11Tesla Model 315.24.00x
12Kia Telluride153.95x
13Porsche 91113.23.47x
14Lincoln Corsair12.73.34x
15BMW X712.53.29x
16BMW 3 Series12.23.21x
17Ford Explorer11.83.11x
18Subaru Ascent10.92.87x
19BMW 5 Series10.82.84x
20Jeep Grand Cherokee L10.52.76x
21Jeep Wrangler10.52.76x
22Jeep Grand Cherokee10.42.74x
23Jeep Wrangler Unlimited10.32.71x
24Chevrolet Silverado 150010.22.68x
25Kia Sorento9.62.53x
Overall Non-OTA Average3.8

For more information on NHTSA recalls, and to check any open recalls on a specific model, visit their website. Recall repairs are free for car owners (other than the time they take to resolve), and should be addressed to ensure a vehicle is operating safely. Sadly, only about a quarter of vehicles involved in a recall are ever repaired due to low consumer action on this issue.

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iSeeCars analyzed vehicle safety recall campaigns as of April 7, 2023 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for cars from model years 2014-2023. The number of campaigns for each model was aggregated and projected for an expected 30-year lifespan, taking into account the overall behavior of the automaker and when each recall campaign was issued in the car’s lifetime. The resulting estimates were then used to rank models with the fewest and most expected safety recalls. Heavy-duty vehicles, low-volume models, and models discontinued prior to the 2020 model year were excluded from further analysis.

About is a data-driven car search and research company that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, including the iSeeCars VIN Check report and Best Cars Rankings. has saved users over $382 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.

This article, Tesla Has the Most Projected Lifetime Recalls, Mercedes and Toyota the Least, originally appeared on